Survey finds consumers prefer sustainable businesses

Published on Monday, 29 April 2019

Consumers have mixed feelings about who is responsible for taking action against complex issues like climate change, with about one-fourth believing that large companies are responsible for leading the charge in finding a solution.

This increasing concern about the future of our planet is driving major corporations across the country to go green by setting significant sustainability goals. Enel Green Power helps its partners fulfill those commitments through renewable energy purchases from projects across North America.

Georgios Papadimitriou, Head of Enel Green Power North America, says businesses of all sizes can purchase renewables at competitive prices and make a difference in climate issues.

“All businesses, from world-leading big brands to small manufacturers, can play a role in operating sustainably and consumers have a say through their purchasing decisions. We are proud to work with companies that make the conscious decision to better our planet by greening their business and encourage consumers to use their purchasing power to continue this momentum.”

– Georgios Papadimitriou, Head of Enel Green Power North America

Consumers are willing to pay more for sustainability

The survey found that over half of Americans believe sustainably-made products are more expensive. However, the commitments that Enel Green Power partners and well-known consumer brands like Anheuser-Busch, Kohler, Facebook, T-Mobile, Starbucks, and Google have made to the planet not only cost businesses less, they also reduce consumers’ carbon footprint behind the scenes through sustainable operations. 

By entering into Power Purchase Agreements with Enel Green Power, these companies have embedded renewable energy into their manufacturing and production processes. For example, T-Mobile plans to use 100% renewable energy by 2021 and expects to cut its energy costs by around $100 million in the next 15 years.

At the #EnelFocusOn event in New York City, thought leaders and Enel Green Power partners came together to explore the role of sustainability in consumer purchasing decisions. Jodi Harris, Vice President of Marketing Culture and Learning at Anheuser-Busch, shared that the beer leader has made sustainability a core tenant of its mission.

“Our mission has always been to make America the best place in the world to live. We believe that the most effective way to achieve this is by producing great beer, while reducing our environmental footprint.”

– Jodi Harris, Vice President of Marketing Culture and Learning at Anheuser-Busch

Companies can help consumers to decrease their environmental impact

The survey also found that two in three Americans would engage in sustainable lifestyle choices by making a purchase from a sustainable brand or a company that donates to an environmental cause. In fact, about half of Americans say they would pay more for a sustainable product and of those people, half would pay three to five percent more.

The event’s keynote speaker, corporate sustainability expert Cyrus Wadia, discussed how companies are responding to these eco-conscious consumers.  

“Businesses need to embrace relationships and partnerships working in an ecosystem, rather than alone. The consumer gets to vote every day.”

– Cyrus Wadia, former Nike Vice President and White House Director

The products we use in our daily lives require a significant amount of energy and materials for production, making our responsible purchasing decisions more influential than ever. Businesses are in a unique position to lead the charge against climate change. Americans’ demand for a greener future will continue to encourage businesses to commit sustainability.

The survey was carried out by KRC Research between March 14 and 17 2019 through an online questionnaire submitted to 1004 adult US residents.